Written by Zack Kaplan, Art by Giovanni Timpano
New Release by Image
"The Sun’s coming, sweetie. We have to go."
Page one of Eclipse opens with a spanning view of a city emptying it’s streets of a hurrying crowd, being corralled by police. They are all hurrying to get below ground, to get inside buildings, to do anything in order to escape the rising of the sun. Tensions are high and it stays that way throughout the entire issue. I enjoyed the beginning of Eclipse and was not surprised to find the rest of the issue just as good.
From the opening, all the way until the cliffhanger at the end of the issue, it will pull you in. It’s a world where a unique solar flare killed billions, and the result was the changing of an unknown factor about the Earth (or sun) which does not allow humanity to survive above ground, during the daylight. Why? You’ll burn to a crisp.
This might seem like a good enough premise as a plot hook; honestly, that is only the setting. Eclipse doesn’t spend its first issue trying to introduce a horde of specialized characters who are righting the wrongs of a post-apocalyptic world. Nor is it following a band of unfortunate miscreants trying to survive in the wastes. This comic is a murder mystery, set within the apocalyptic background.
If that doesn’t make you want to read it, how about this: There are people who go out on the surface during the daylight. They do so wearing “Ice Man” suits, a sort of space suit that keeps out the blistering power of the sun, keeping the body safe and cool. These ice men patrol during the daylight hours, ever-vigilante, fixing what must be fixed. They are sort of an apocalyptic safe guarding handyman.
One group, while on patrol, finds a body. This is odd, mainly because the police patrol the streets every morning before sunrise, clearing out anyone who may still be wandering around. The police did not miss this body because it was not there at the time of their patrol. Someone murdered the victim above ground... while the sun was out. Who did it? Well, you will have to read to find out.
Rise of the Black Flame #1
Created by Mike Mignola, Written by Chris Roberson, Art by Christopher Mitten
New Release by Dark Horse
"Eth Achell Vrra Shishuga!"
I don’t have a whole lot to say about the comic itself. I figured I should just pass along some crucial information for anyone interested in this one. If you’re already a fan of Hellboy, then you should pick this one up. It seems like it will be another entertaining 5-issue series that will add to the backstory of the world, and some existing side stories. In it, we meet some familiar faces and are introduced to a few new ones.
If you've never read anything From the Pages of Hellboy, then I don’t recommend starting here, unless you are completely transfixed by some aspect of it. This is one side story, like many others, where you can jump right in. You don’t need to know anything about the world or the characters to enjoy it. My personal opinion is this one will not be the mini-series that stands out above most of the others. Hellboy has turned into such a huge, looming world with tons of series and there are a lot of better ones out there. Suggesting just one would be hard, but I can think of two starting points for the uninitiated. One would beFrankenstein Underground. This is a good side story that could introduce you well to the ambiance of the world. Hellboy - Seed of Destruction, my second recommendation, is a nice starting point for anyone looking for the very beginning of the Hellboy universe.
Assuming that some of you still want to read this, regardless, you may want a feeling for what you are in for. Well, here you go: The story kicks up in May of 1923, British Colonial Burma. Local girls have been disappearing for a while now, and after the daughter of a wealthy Brit goes missing, the Imperial Police are called in to investigate. A figure in a dark hooded robe (yup) is connected to the missing girls and the chase to find the cult (of course it's a cult!) begins. It’s very Hellboy-esque, drawn in a similar art-style, yet containing a bit more detail and color compared to the blocky, and simple (not a criticism), illustrations of Mike Mignola.
Written by Jim Zub, Art by Djibril Morissette-Phan
New Release by Image
"There are no famous people. It’s all just meat!"
This comic was AWESOME.
I don't just mean: Oh, you might like it, so give it a go. I mean: Do it now. Still reading this? Stop, go buy it, then come back and finish reading my comments on the story.
Farrah, a beaten down, slowly aging actress and mother is nearing her breaking point. She is going out for auditions and keeps getting rejected. Her agent is… well, not her biggest fan. Her babysitter, an obnoxious and foul-mouthed brat, continuously texts her asking her about news of auditions, asking when she will be home and overall adding to the stress. After getting rejected and bullied at an audition, Farrah goes down to the beach. There she encounters something dark, strange, all-consuming and very squid-like.
The art is really spot on. It’s gory and flashy, with a style that fits in with a lot of other comics these days. I think it will stand out if they continue to do a good job with the story, while keeping the art consistent. The dialogue flows perfectly, and the story-beats really lead you through without any pause or overreaching feel. I never once thought, ‘when will this be over?’, but hoped it would keep going.
Get this one. But, be warned: if blood, guts and rough language, isn’t your thing then stay clear. This one is full of it all and done so wonderfully. It’s brutal and fun.
Check them out. Hope this helps.